Monday, July 13, 2009

Hurrying


The Dalai Lama once said, "Hurrying does violence to time."

This story, as told by Zorba in Nikos Kazantzakis book, Zorba the Greek, illustrates the idea.


I remember one morning when I discovered a cocoon in the bark of a tree just as the butterfly was making a hole in its case and preparing to come out. I waited awhile but it was too long appearing and I was impatient. I bent over it and breathed on it to warm it. I warmed it as quickly as I could and the miracle began to happen before my eyes, faster than life. the case opened, the butterfly started slowly crawling out, and I shall never forget my horror when I saw how its wings were folded back and crumpled; the wretched butterfly tried with its whole trembling body to unfold them. Bending over it, I tried to help it with my breath. In vain. It needed to be hatched out patiently and the unfolding of the wings needed to be a gradual process in the sun. Now it was too late. My breath had forced the butterfly to appear, all crumpled, before its time. It struggled desperately and a few seconds later, died in the palm of my hand.


One of the nicest things about summer vacation is that I don't hurry—or need to hurry—for weeks at a time. It's a luxury I am very grateful for and wish everyone could enjoy as well.

7 comments:

steven said...

hi dan, the near timelessness of the holidays . . . so very true and certainly a luxury that i am using to my advantage as well as those around me. the story is beautiful and reminding of how i observe people rushing their children through childhood, wishing them to be more grown-up and independent rather than allowing them their right to "a gradual process in the sun." have a peaceful day. steven

Margaret Pangert said...

One thing that teaches me to slow down and live in the moment is swimming. I love the silence of the water. I try to bring that feeling into my life and learn to be calm and unhurried. I'm glad you're using your opportunity this summer to unwind. btw, that is a beautiful picture; the macro in the forefront in focus, the leaves in the background a little bit blurred. perfect.

Delwyn said...

Hi Dan

I like what both Steven and Margaret have said:

One, that we put so much pressure on kids to grow up (except me perhaps, I was always 'the meanest mother' and would not condone early dressing up, makeup and drinking...)

and swimming - the repetitive rhythmic stroking is so much like a meditation, so slow and relaxing. I remember swimming across the bay one summer on a hot day and was so into a steady rhythm I wondered if it was possible to fall asleep - it was mesmerising...

I am always telling myself to slow down when I read posts and write replies...I feel eager and in a rush to read the next story, but why ... I have all the time... slow down...I tell myself...

I wonder if these mini stories and posts, mini messages of texting, and now twitter, contribute to our mini focus and concentration time...like the damage Sesame Street did to kids years ago...only a few moments concentration then wham onto another topic - teaching kids instant gratification and stimulation as a modus operandi...

I often say to myself, "slow down - it doesn't matter if it is not done right now - you have the rest of your life Delwyn..."



Happy days Dan

Dan Gurney said...

Steven, as a teacher you are aware of one of the reasons I posted this. Like you, I am aware of and saddened by how we rush our children through childhood. Kindergarten has become like the first grades a generation ago. I'm doing whatever I can to resist the rush, but as I say, "I'm only one guy."

Dan Gurney said...

Hi Margaret--I'm glad you've got swimming in your life to help you slow down.

I use walking for the same purpose.

Yesterday my wife and I and three friends walked 8 miles roundtrip to the neighboring town to an art show for a friend. Walking there slowed us down in such a nice way.

Dan Gurney said...

Delwyn, yes, I think computers have added to the speed-up of our social world. I notice that I slow down quite a lot when I get away from the computer and spend a day with friends face to face. I value my online friends, but I am very deliberately keeping the circle small enough so that I'm not spread too thin to see friends in my non-virtual circles.

Sarah Lulu said...

Hello Dan,

I love your little reminders for me ....which in belief system is always the Universe giving me a nudge ...

Slowing down is oh so hard for me, and I often think ...I wonder if that's how/why I developed rhuematoid arthritis ....so I would slow down *smile* ..and I do see that as a blessing.

Your story is also a good prompt on wanting instant results ...and being prepared for better if I wait.

I'm going to look now at your brother's blog which I just saw on your list there.